Spray-on bed liners are difficult to remove, as the method is forceful. This is an honest attempt to break down the elimination procedure and provide some viable replacement options.
WHY WOULD YOU NEED TO REMOVE A SPRAY-IN BED LINER?
Lots of folks think all spray-in liners last forever, but that’s not the case. Most of them are quite sturdy, however they all share the same drawbacks:
- Inevitably, your spray-in will fade, no matter how much money you put into it. It’s a result of UV radiation from the sun breaking down the chemicals that give the liner its’ color.
- None of the big spray-in or do-it-yourself roll-on bed liner providers offer a warranty against stains. Stains in your spray-in can range from small (water spots) to severe (grease, oil, deer/animal blood, food) depending on what you spill and how long it lies in the truck bed.
- Rips and Tears — A spray-in liner can rip if it is gouged while being loaded, or if the edge of the liner material is grabbed by cargo (for instance, if you are pushing something across your tailgate and it catches the liner).
- Problems with peeling, cracking, and bubbling can occur if the spray-in was not put properly. Warranties typically cover these types of defects, although they typically only apply to the first buyer. That used pickup you just bought might not be protected after all.
Of all, some of us wouldn’t have any success at all if it weren’t for our terrible luck. Spray-on bed liners are easy to break and degrade in appearance, but it’s a major hassle to get rid of them. To devise a method that actually works, we consulted with both auto body and paint specialists and regular people who have removed liners on their own (only it may take quite a bit of time).
Even if it’s in the company’s best interest to say so, DualLiner advises against DIY removal of spray-on bed liners. It’s usually not worth the effort involved. Instead of repainting the bed, we recommend applying a new liner (like, cough, a DualLiner truck bed liner) on top of the damaged spray-in bed liner to hide the damage and maintain the bed’s protective qualities.
If, on the other hand, you’re hoping to return your truck bed to its original state or remove spray-in bed liner from a specific section of your truck bed, keep reading.
HOW TO REMOVE A SPRAY-IN BED LINER
What you’ll need:
- Dissolving agents
- One who uses a grinder
- Torch or heat gun
- A chisel and a hammer
STEP 1: ASSESS THE TASK AHEAD
Assessing the liner’s and truck bed’s current state might help you estimate the effort required to remove it. Start by inspecting the liner for any signs of damage, such as bubbles, cracks, or flaking. There may be little difficulty in removing the liner if there are several bubbles, fissures, etc. If you don’t, maybe you should rethink taking on that project.
STEP 2: CHEMICAL BATH
Because the chemicals are so potent and dangerous, you are free to omit this stage if you prefer.
One product known as “Aircraft Remover” enjoys widespread renown in the automotive industry thanks to its exceptional performance. People who want to remove paint or rust from classic muscle cars use it frequently, and truck owners who are fed up with their spray-in bed liner also resort to it. This product should be handled with extreme caution, as it will essentially melt anything it comes into contact with. Put on protective gear such goggles, gloves, and clothing before handling this substance in any way. In addition, this chemical should not be spilled on concrete floors or driveways. You can count on it eating right through (and then feeling bad about it).
Using this chemical is as easy as “painting” it onto your bed liner, waiting 5-15 minutes for it to soak in, and then scraping away the debris it loosens. Aircraft remover will safely remove your old bed liner without harming your truck’s aluminum bed, but it will take time and numerous applications.
WARNING: Aircraft Remover and similar chemicals will completely dissolve plastic and completely remove any paint they come into touch with. Take extreme caution if installing this on your truck.
STEP 3: GRIND IT
An angle grinder with a wire wheel attached can be highly useful if you skipped over step 2 or are working with a particularly thick area of material. Make sure you don’t have anything else planned.
STEP 4: HEAT IT UP AND CHISEL THE LINER
The fragments of liner can be removed by heating them with a heat gun and then chipping them away. Most individuals use a paint scraper or other hand tool, although some prefer to use more powerful air chisels.
This is unquestionably the most effective strategy accessible to truck owners today. A handful of the experts we spoke with at local body shops recommended this route. But they did advise that you have to be careful with the angle of your chisel. If you do not take care, you will ding the bed.
STEP 5: SAND AWAY WHAT’S LEFT
Because of this, sanding will be required after other processes like as chemical treatments, grinding, heating, and chiseling have been completed. What grit sandpaper is available now is determined by what is available. In certain cases, a fine grit (such as that used for detailing) will be sufficient to finish the job, but in others, a coarser grit will be required.
Another option is to hire a service to take care of removing the liner for you. If you’re going to spend several hundred dollars to have a liner removed, you might as well spend the extra money to obtain a DualLiner and install it on top of the existing liner.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Experts at body shops, detailers, and regular customers were all able to provide us with useful advice while we conducted our investigation. The following are some of the “knowledge” quotes they provided:
- When working with chemicals, sanding, etc., always use a mask and protective clothing. Adhere to all necessary chemical safety measures.
- No matter what technique you employ, removing a bedliner will create a huge mess. Some folks have suggested finding a location other than your garage in which to do your work.
- The best way to find out how much this will cost is to talk to a competent auto body shop. DIY stripping is not cost-effective because chemical strippers are extremely expensive.
- Truck beds typically need to be repainted when spray-in liners are removed, unless you plan to install a new liner.
- To remove a damaged spray-in bed liner without causing “collateral harm” is an improbable task. Dents in the bed or the melting of plastic trim pieces are only two examples of the wear and tear that can be expected. Those who are well-versed on the subject agree.
IS REMOVING AN OLD BED LINER WORTH IT?
Simply put, no… At least, that’s the consensus among the experts we consulted. If you wish to restore the factory paint job or install a new spray-in liner to replace the one you removed, you will need to remove the old liner first.
Alternatively, you might consider installing a new DualLiner truck bed liner over your existing, worn spray-in liner.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of peeling off a bed liner. It’s a huge time commitment. You can count on having people there to help you through this. When it comes to anything having to do with trucks, your friends at Durabak are here to help you out, from removal to application. To get answers to your questions or issues from our knowledgeable staff, please get in touch with us.